Originally uploaded by justinhenry
From the toothpaste they buy to the old television set they hold on to for years on end, every possession has a special significance in a desi’s life. Once an item enters a desi household, only its complete consumption or a worthy exchange offer can dislodge it.
Clinging on to stuff they own acquires ritualistic proportions often rendering desi homes as a curious museum of mostly obsolete or useless artifacts. Unlike museums though, which focus on the act of collecting, desi homes focus exclusively on the act of not letting go. For instance, medicines for some strange reason are treasured possessions,with bottle of vicks , iodex or amrutanjan enduring life spans of over a decade; well past their respective expiry dates.
From the moment the smallest of knick-knack is purchased from the most obscure of little outlets, the desi will feel not just a sense of ownership toward it, but also a sense of pride and an inexplicable sentimental attachment to it. And, if they got it on a deal, then it pretty much becomes a part of their legacy for future generations. This is not just limited to the purchases, it also elegantly extends itself to stuff they don’t technically own or purchase.
Desis are also expert reusers and champion refurbishers of stuff that is broken. And while America, with all its wastefulness and throw away culture proves to be a formidable obstacle in a desi’s reuse endeavours, there is always room for those broken shoes on trips back home.